DA claims San Bernardino shooter's iPhone contains a 'cyber pathogen'

In the latest twist in the Apple vs FBI debate, the San Bernardino DA has claimed the shooter’s iPhone may contain a ‘cyber pathogen’.

If this isn’t clutching at straws, we don’t know what is. A District Attorney has alleged that the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone – which launched the debate on FBI access to iOS – might contain a dangerous cyber pathogen.
What precisely is a cyber pathogen? We’d like to know too. Apparently, the District Attorney in question has cited that the shooter’s un-accessed iPhone 5c could contain a dangerous virus that could be “œused as a weapon to introduce a lying dormant cyber pathogen that endangers San Bernardino County‘s infrastructure.“
Read: Tim Cook blasts FBI request for iPhone access
According to forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski, there’s no such thing as a ‘cyber pathogen’. “œThey are essentially saying that a magical unicorn might exist on this phone” Zdziarski said in an interview with Arstechnica, citing that “œthis reads as an amicus designed to mislead the courts into acting irrationally in an attempt to manipulate a decision in the FBI‘s favor.“
The claim that the shooter’s iPhone could contain a cyber pathogen is the latest tactic employed to sway the court into forcing Apple to unlock the shooter’s iPhone and, ultimately, build future versions of iOS that would be more easily hackable.
Read: Google‘s Sundar Pichai backs Apple over FBI requests
Tim Cook has weighed in that unlocking the iPhone for the FBI would amount to a ‘dangerous precedent’, before news broke that the state has requested access not to just one iPhone, but 10 others.
Google’s Sundar Pichai has voiced his support for Apple’s stance alongside social media giants Twitter and Facebook, while former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates has supported the FBI in this ‘particular case’.
Read: Bill Gates sides with the FBI against Apple
What are your thoughts? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
Follow Bryan Smith on Twitter: @bryansmithSA